The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona was launched in 1963, and today, over half a century later, it is still with us, the Daytona, a serious contender for the title of most famous chronograph in the world. Here are ten reasons for the enduring popularity of this watch. The version shown below is the new Cosmograph Daytona in yellow gold, price €25,650. It is also available in white gold and Everose gold, in addition to steel.
1. Super-comfortable on the wrist.
At 40 mm diameter, it’s a perfect size for most wrists, and it now has the Oysterflex bracelet, in elastomer reinforced with a slender, flexible plate of titanium-nickel alloy inside. The result is a watch that’s so comfortable it becomes part of you. The safety clasp has Rolex’s Easylink rapid extension system that allows you to increase bracelet length by about 5 mm, for added comfort whenever necessary.
Rolex is unique in that it uses the term “waterproof” without fear – most other brands use “water-resistant.” The Oyster case is waterproof to 100 metres, assured by screw-down crown and pushers. There is a big difference between “waterproof to 100 metres” and the standard “30 metres water resistance” of most other brands.
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The Cosmograph Daytona is COSC-certified (guaranteeing a precision of maximum -4/+6 seconds deviation per day) and then Rolex runs its own internal tests, Superlative Chronometer Certification, reaching a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day. This is better than most other mechanical watches.
The Cosmograph Daytona has a seconds scale subdivided into fifths of seconds, and the scale is continuous all the way around. This may seem obvious, but there are many other chronographs in which this scale is interrupted by the hours markers, the date window, sometimes even by the text “Swiss Made.” The Daytona is a supremely functional watch.
5. Tachymeter on the bezel
The tachymetric scale is a tradition in chronograph watches, enabling the conversion of time taken to complete a mile or a kilometre into the respective speed. While you will use a chronometer for all sorts of things, from timing your morning run to cooking the perfect boiled egg, the tachymeter remains something of a relic from the past. Rolex place it on the bezel. That way it doesn’t clutter up the dial. Differently to many other chronographs.
6. Prestigious movement
Not many brands make their own movements. The calibre 4130 is entirely developed and built by Rolex, and it is the most prestigious type of chronograph movement, with column wheel and vertical clutch. The column wheel means smooth pusher action, the vertical clutch minimizes friction and wear, and ensures that the chronograph starts smoothly the moment you press the pusher at 2 o’clock.
7. Power reserve
The calibre 4130 movement is self-winding, with a power reserve of 72 hours. The vast majority of automatic chronographs measure in at from 38 to 46 hours. 72 hours means that you can take your watch off on Friday evening and put it back onto your wrist on Monday morning and it will still be running.
8. Durable and scratch-resistant
The Cerachrom bezel is proprietary Rolex technology, a material with excellent scratch and UV-light resistance.
9. Solid caseback
Many brands provide display casebacks for their watches so that you can see the movement. Rolex has always gone its own way, and this, like all the brand’s watches, has a solid caseback, screwed down for waterproofness.
10. Anti-magnetic hairspring
Not many brands make their own movements, and even fewer make their own hairsprings. Rolex’s hairsprings are in Parachrom, a proprietary alloy unaffected by magnetic fields. Several other brands – notably Omega – have gone even further in this direction, but Parachrom is just one of the many in-house features that have ensured that Rolex maintains its status as the world’s best-known watch brand.
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